Central rallied in the last quarter to record a come-from-behind victory over Lions in Round 2.
Lions led at every change but were run down by a fast-finishing Central outfit who recorded their first win of the season.
After getting a big win over Port the week before, Lions came in as favourites and started the game in blistering fashion, skipping away to an early 28-point lead after booting five of the game’s first six goals.
In his first game in over a year, Ryan Morris kicked a crucial goal to put Central on the board and one of their recruits, Duncan Armstrong, followed with one of his own.
Lions held a handy 22-point lead at quarter time, with Jordan Fuller proving a handful for Central as he often is by showing his class around the ground with precision kicking to set up goals.
The second quarter was a physical one with plenty of congestion and stoppages.
The only two goals of the term went to Central with Jared Reid and Brendon Colson hitting the scoreboard.
However Central missed some big opportunities to lead the way heading into the long break, kicking four behinds to trail by eight points at half time.
The Bloods’ on-ballers, Brannan Everett, Austin Miller and Braden Allen, were impressive, while Tyler Eckert and Shaun Edwards had terrific opening halves.
Ryan Morris was back in the thick of it at the beginning of the third quarter, kicking two consecutive goals to put his side in front for the first time in the match.
Lions’ forward Tyson Horsnell responded by doing exactly the same, which sparked a purple patch for the visitors, who kicked another two goals before three quarter time to take their lead out to 21 points.
Things began to unravel for the Bloods at the end of the third quarter, allowing Lions to skip away and it seemed that the game was out of reach.
Brendon Colson kicked a goal in the first three minutes of the quarter to bring Central within 15 points, but a Tate Bradley goal put Lions back in the driver’s seat.
But Central didn’t give up and managed to kick another two goals through Duncan Armstrong and Kyle Colson, before the following centre bounce resulted in a quick kick out of the middle into the lap of Colson, who was able to run in and kick a second goal within 15 seconds.
With the margin back to just two points, the game was back on and Central completed the comeback when Braden Allen side-stepped around the Lions’ defenders and kicked the deciding goal.
Central then held on to their slim lead for five minutes to come out on top in an absolute thriller.